Saudi entertainment sector received over 120 million visitors since 2019

RIYADH — The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and Advisor at the Royal Court, Turki Al Al-Sheikh, announced on Sunday that the entertainment events held by the GEA with the support and empowerment of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received more than 120 million visitors since 2019 and until the first quarter of 2023.

Al-Sheikh said this record number of visitors comes as a culmination of the Crown Prince's support for this vital and promising sector.

He revealed that among what the GEA achieved during this period were organizing the largest Holy Qur'an and Azan competition in the world, and issuing 11,136 licenses for various entertainment and support activities after the launch of the New Licensing System in 2019. In addition, 470 entertainment destinations have been licensed in 42 cities and governorates in the Kingdom. As many as 1,402 restaurants with at least 3,728 permits have been licensed in 50 cities and governorates while 3,738 establishments in the areas of recreational and support activities have been issued licenses.

Al-Sheikh indicated that the number of activities reached 8,732 during the period. These included entertainment shows and live performances in restaurants and cafes. He pointed out that the total number of event days reached more than 76,000, including 1,381 concerts.

Moreover, 82 plays were held during the same period, with 350 theatrical performances. More than 6,610 talented performers were enabled to participate in events and live shows in restaurants and cafes.

Joy Awards, one of the most prominent art festivals in the entertainment industry, was held in three editions. This came alongside one of the most important festivals in the world for playing the oud, Oud Festival, with unprecedented prizes in three editions. A major Chess Tournament and two Baloot tournaments were held.

As for football, the Super Classico Championship was held between Brazil and Argentina, the Maradona Cup between Barcelona and Boca Juniors, and the Riyadh Season Cup between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) against the stars of Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal and Al Nassr. The GEA also organized a Beauty Competition for Arabian Horses and more than 50 exhibitions in various fields, including animation, games, cars, jewelry and others.

Al-Sheikh noted the authority’s sponsorship of many television shows and series, including the “Ramez” pranks show, the “Tash Ma Tash” series, the “Saudi Idol” talent show, and the “Bodyguard” play, in addition to holding 12 poetry evenings, and organizing more than five WWE shows. The largest and most modern worldwide “Merwas” art and entertainment factory has also been established for music recording, podcasting and cinematography, with 22 studios under one roof. It is certified as the best studio complex in the world by Guinness World Records.

Al-Sheikh pointed out that the GEA obtained several Guinness World Records certificates. The activities contributed to the creation of a large number of direct and indirect jobs. — SPA



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